Mommy Style Monday: Favorite Things Box (Spring Edition)

These are a few of my favorite (Spring) things!  See what I received in a surprise Springtime box!

As of last Monday, Spring has officially sprung!  I always look forward to this time of year.  I am definitely not a cold weather person and the minute it’s warm enough for me to sit outside without a jacket, I am throwing open windows and letting the fresh air in.  We just got our garden boxes ready to plant some vegetables and I love the smell of dirt and the joy that comes from planting, growing and eating that food.  My kids get so excited when we start seeing “popcorn trees” (ie. white flowering trees) blooming all over the neighborhood and the life springing up all around makes me smile.

I’ve done a couple Mommy Style Monday’s in the past (here and here).  Usually it is based around a theme and each of the participants writes about it.  This month we were supposed to think about our favorite things that have to do with Spring, put them in a box and ship it off to a fellow blogger friend to enjoy.  (I sent my box to Britt over at My Little Sunshines who is actually a friend of mine in real life, although the rotation was completely random.)  In turn, I received a box of my own from Rachel at Tutus and Heels.

These are a few of my favorite (Spring) things!  See what I received in a surprise Springtime box!

Rachel and I actually met last September when we helped out with a photo shoot for Favor Cart.  I’ve been following her ever since then and it was fun to get a box from her and see what her favorite things are in the Springtime.

These are a few of my favorite (Spring) things!  See what I received in a surprise Springtime box!

There is something so exciting about knowing that you’re getting something sent to you in the mail, but not knowing exactly what it is you’ll be getting.  When I got my box, I took it inside and immediately opened it up.  Check out the fun stuff I got from Rachel!

These are a few of my favorite (Spring) things!  See what I received in a surprise Springtime box!

These are a few of my favorite (Spring) things!  See what I received in a surprise Springtime box!

Super cute, right?  She sent note pads and pens (perfect for all the list making I do), a little zipper pouch, a couple of fun paper straws, brightly colored clothes pins that spell out the word ‘spring’, stamps, a yummy grapefruit candle, gold washi tape, chocolate eggs and 3 delicious cake bites from a local bakery called the Sweet Tooth Fairy.

You can take a look at the other boxes that were sent around as part of our Mommy Style Monday: Favorite Things Box (Spring Edition) by clicking on any of the links below:

Kiana  |  Glitter & Donuts
Madeline  |  CaseyLand
Cayli  |  Nightchayde
Rachel  |  Tutus and Heels
Erica  |  Good Job Momma
Chandler  |  Life as a Larsen

If you want to sign up to participate in the next Mommy Style Monday Favorite Things Box in June, you can use this link HERE.

What would you include in your own favorite things box?

You Know You’re a Blogger When…

How do you know if you're a blogger?  Read what these 5 bloggers have to say!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in how people think and why they think the way they do, which in turn causes them to act a certain way.  I find it totally fascinating.  We each have different talents and abilities, likes and dislikes, interests and desires.  For example, I’m really glad that there are people out there who like accounting.  I hate accounting (and pretty much anything to do with math), but I am really grateful for them when tax season comes around. *wink*  There are also people out there who do this crazy thing called blogging.  And unless you are a blogger, you probably don’t think like a blogger or even know what bloggers think about in the first place.  Well my friends, you’re about to find out.

When I started Sunshine & Munchkins 16 months ago, I didn’t really know what I was doing.  I set up a new blog separate from my personal one, bought a domain name, created social media accounts and read A LOT of articles found on Pinterest about all things blogging.  Slowly but surely, I’ve learned about HTML, photography, finding my voice, telling stories, sharing my vulnerabilities and challenges with strangers and making friends all over the world.  Blogging is a powerful thing, even if it’s only for the person doing it.

But enough about me.  What you want to know is how to know if you’re a blogger!  Odds are if you’re reading this, you already are one and are looking to connect and maybe have a little laugh, almost like an inside joke that only bloggers will get.  If you aren’t a blogger, then this is going to be a fun little peek into our brains.  You’ll get to see how we think, feel and try not to go crazy trying to manage our lives and this blog thing that you don’t really understand why or how we do it.  (Kind of like our kids!)

I’ve partnered up with 4 other awesome bloggers to share “You Know You’re A Blogger When…”  You can read the full post on Little Dove.  Then be sure to check out the other ladies and their blogs and social media.  You just mind find someone new to like (besides me, of course *wink*).

I Am Amazing Because…

Wow, can you believe we are already into the second week of the new year?  Christmas seems like a distant memory and school is back in swing for many kids (mine included).  If you’re anything like me, you consider the new year a time for new beginnings.  A time to start doing something we want to or stop doing something we don’t want or like.  We make goals to change something about ourselves.  To improve.  We make plans to travel, visit family or friends or try something new.  While this is all fine and well, it can get kind of overwhelming if we let ourselves get too caught up in the ‘new year, new you’ slogan that seems to permeate this time of year.

Don’t get me wrong: I am definitely a goal-oriented person and I’ve made several goals for myself this year.  Maybe you’ve done the same thing.  But when was the last time you took a step back and thought about all the things you like about yourself?  The things you’re good at.  Accomplishments that might seem small to someone else but are huge for you.  I think sometimes I get so focused on making changes or improving myself that I forget about the things that make me special.  Everyone wants to be unique and loved for who they are, myself included.  And as I mentioned above, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be better.  But are we afraid of telling other people what makes us amazing?  Do we downplay our strengths or talents or abilities so we don’t appear to be boastful or “better” than someone else?

A fellow blogger friend of mine, Natashia from Canary Jane, has started a campaign to help us each recognize how amazing we are within ourselves and to see the unique qualities in those around us.  Myself and the other bloggers participating want to share a message of love and confidence.  We need more positivity and less shaming in the world and I feel like this is especially true when it comes to social media.  I love this message and hope we can all get on board and share it with others.

To help get things started, I want to share with you some things that I think are amazing about myself:

I am patient.  My thoughts and opinions have value.  I don’t let hard things keep me down and have the ability to keep moving forward.  I love to learn.  I have a strong body that allows me to play with my kids and exercise.  I plan meals for my family and budget our money so we are able to live well and save money.  I teach my children how to love themselves and those around them.  I am a good wife to my husband.  I recognize that I am not perfect and I do my best to not let that tear me down and just keep trying to do better than the day before.   And that is just a little bit about me and why I am amazing.

As you begin your new year, I challenge you to think about what makes you amazing.  Write it down.  Hang it on your bathroom mirror.  Put it on a note card next to your bed.  (Natashia has a couple of simple printables for you on her blog.)  On the days when you are feeling down or like you can’t do anything right, take a look at what makes you amazing.  If you feel so inclined, you can share what makes you amazing by using the hashtag #IAMAMAZINGBECAUSE.  I wish you the best as you begin this new year!

Fab 5: Falon and Emily

Hello and happy Friday!  I don’t know about you, but I am really glad it’s the weekend.  I’ve been dealing with sick kids for the last week and a half and now it seems I’ve developed a sore throat.  I swear, moms should not be allowed to get sick!

However, I do have another amazing post as part of my Fab 5 series and I’m pretty excited about it!  As I’ve done this series over the last four months, I have loved getting to know each one of these ladies.  They are all so talented and just straight up awesome.

Today, I have Falon from Falon Loves Life and Emily from The Crafty Carlson.  I have a lot in common with both of these ladies, but I think you’ll find you probably do too!

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Falon  |  Falon Loves Life 

Background:

I grew up in Valencia, CA, which is a suburb of Los Angeles best known as the home of Magic Mountain. I moved to LA proper about six years ago where we lived with the “hipsters”. Now that I have a kiddo we are in a more suburban part of the LA area, but still close enough to the city to enjoy all its perks. I have been married to my amazing husband Matt for a little over five years. We share the same sense of humor (though I am definitely funnier than he is) and have a great time together. Our son Canon is two and we are having a blast watching him grow up and develop his (strong) personality. I have been blogging since 2010. I started out as a wedding blogger since I was planning my own wedding at the time, and that has slowly evolved into my now “lifestyle” blog.  

Describe your blog:
Falon Loves Life is a blog about a little bit of everything, really. I write a lot about Disneyland and Disney themed stuff since I have been a lifelong Disney fan and annual passholder for fifteen years. I love to write about books since I am an avid reader. I also write about crafts and DIY projects, travel tips, and different things to do around Southern California. Basically, if it’s on my mind or I experience it, I write about it!  

Share an embarrassing moment
I don’t embarrass easily (at least not anymore) but I did have a pretty bad moment back when I was teaching. I was 25 and was teaching a class of high school seniors, so kids that were not that much younger than me. We were doing Grammar Mad Libs and for some reason I let them use my name as one of the proper nouns.  When I read the whole thing out loud, it turned out that the story described me as super hot and in a room full of 18 year old boys, it was uncomfortable to say the least (I was also way hotter back then!).  

What are your favorite things to do/eat/see at Disneyland?
It’s so hard to pick my favorite things at Disneyland! When it’s just me and my little one there, we like to ride Monsters Inc and Jungle Cruise. If I am doing a date day at Disneyland with my husband we love Star Tours and we have some pretty fierce competitions on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (I won the last one, for the record). My favorite place to eat at the parks is definitely Carthay Circle, but I also love Trader Sam’s, which is a tiki bar at the Disneyland Hotel. But really one of my favorite things to do at Disneyland is find a comfy place to sit and people watch! It’s always a fascinating mix of people to observe.  

What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas. It’s the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series and I am loving it so far. I am really into young adult literature so that’s what I read most of the time. Next on my list is Scarlet from the Lunar Chronicles and then Girl on the Train.

Where would you go if money were no object?
If money were no object, I would 100% be on a plane to Italy right this minute! In addition to the beautiful architecture and scenery, you’ve got pasta, pizza, and wine, three of my favorite things! Venice, Rome, Florence, and Lake Como are all very high on my travel wish list. Honestly, I am dying to explore all of Europe, and would be happy just living there for a few months and soaking it all in.  

Bonus: Tell us about your wedding coordinator business
Being a wedding coordinator is seriously the best job in the world. I love so many things about it, but the overarching theme is that I get to work with amazing couples on the happiest day of their lives. I don’t know if it’s being in the LA area or if I’m just lucky, but I rarely have “bridezillas” on my hands. All of my couples are sweet and appreciative and just good people and I love that I get to make their wedding day more enjoyable for them. I also really love the creativity involved in wedding planning, and the fact that every day brings something new and different. And as a work at home mom, it has provided me with a lot of flexibility in scheduling so I am able to be home with my son, which has been amazing.

Social Media Links
Facebook: Falon Loves Life
Instagram: @falonloveslife
Pinterest: @falonballard
Twitter: @falonloveslife
Wedding Coordinator Website: Falon B Weddings

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Emily  |  The Crafty Carlson

Background:
I was born and raised in the small town of Delta, Utah (Go Rabbits!). After graduating high school, I moved to Orem Utah to do some schooling at Utah Valley University.  That’s where I met my husband, but I’ll get to that in a bit!  I currently live in Springville Utah with my dream guy, squishy little baby boy, and the cutest little fur baby around. We love it here!  I actually just started blogging this year! It’s been a fun project to grow and work on in my spare time.  

Describe your blog: 
My blog is mostly crafting and DIY.  I actually grew up with an extremely crafty mother and took after her in my passion for crafting. She was always working on something (and still enjoys it today!).  I remember she was mostly into card making and scrapbooking. She had every craft supply you could think of. You needed it? She had it.  In fact, I distinctly remember a bottle of some kind of liquid product that made paper look aged for card making.  She had it in a spray bottle in the fridge marked “POISON!! Do NOT drink!!”, and that was totally normal to me and my younger sisters. Ha!! Other people would probably think that was so strange…. I also can’t get used to the idea of a house without a craft room. My mom has had a ‘scrapbook room’ every since I can remember.  My blog reminds me a lot of my mom and brings back so many memories of working and learning with her about creativity.  I really want to provide a childhood like that for my kids and look forward to the day when we can do some of those things together and with grandma.  So with those thoughts and desires in mind, I decided to step way out of my comfort zone to start The Crafty Carlson.  

What are you favorite family traditions?
Oh my goodness, I am a sucker for good family traditions. I love um!  Specifically ones we had when I was a kid.  Every winter we would go tubing at Soldier Hollow, ice skating at The Gallivant Center, and all kinds of other fun winter activities.  We also had a really fun time going to a Hampton Inn in Orem that we always called “our hotel”.  It was a simple get-away, but always a blast.  So as kids we would always ask mom and dad if we were going to “our hotel” anytime soon!  Man, lots of fun memories at that place!!  I am trying to always work in family traditions of our own for my little family of 3 (plus the fur baby of course).  We always go to a pumpkin patch in the fall and our little guy loves that.  I’ll have to try to incorporate more traditions that we can keep going throughout our kids childhoods!

What is your dream vacation?
This is a fun question because I am currently writing this from my hotel room in Kauai Hawaii!!  That’s always been a dream vacation of mine and it’s actually my second time here.  It’s extra special this time around however because I got to bring along my baby boy and husbands, who are both here for their first time!!  But I love traveling.  I would honestly enjoy going almost anywhere.  My husbands mother was born and raised in Bermuda, so I’m really looking forward to visiting there someday!

Where does your crafting inspiration come from?
I talked a lot about my mom being a huge inspiration for me above, but I also have a lot of inspiration from my friends.  I have a really good friend who is currently living over in New York for her husbands job.  We miss them like crazy!  Our husbands were best friends in high school, and we met through them.  We LOVE crafting together.  I actually got out of crafting for awhile after moving out.  So when we met and started getting together a lot, we were able to start crafting again as well!  It started out as little wooden kits we would buy from local stores and paint, ending up with a new home decor piece.  We eventually wanted to branch out from that and started sewing, making signs, and all kinds of other fun stuff.  It’s also just fun to create something yourself that you love to have and that you’re proud of.   

What is your favorite food?
This is always a hard question for me!! I love a lot of different kinds of food.  One thing my husband and I love to get is sushi.  I will admit though, I’m kind of a lame sushi eater.  I only like the simple California rolls and anything with deep fried shrimp in it.  Ha… We also love Pesto Chicken Pasta around my house. I’ve been making it for a few years now and it’s a favorite for sure!  I also loooove root beer… I know.  Kinda random.  But I’ve always loved it.   

Bonus: How did you meet your husband?
This is one of my favorite stories to tell because it’s super random!! We actually lived in the same apartment building in Orem for about 3 months without even realizing it.  We were in the same ward and I’m sure we crossed paths several times before meeting.  One night the ward was having a talent show.  I don’t really have any talents that I could display in a show, and didn’t really have an interest in going, but got talked into it by my roommates.  So off to the talent show I went.  It turned out that Joe had some plans fall through, a few guys from the ward ended up knocking on his door inviting him to the activity, and off to the talent show he went.  He told me that he walked in a little late and looked for the prettiest girl he could find to go sit by… he ended up sitting by me.  Two sits over actually!!  But I guess I caught his eye.  I leaned over to my roommate and said “oh my gosh, look how cute the guy is who sat next to me”. She said back “you should talk to him after!”.  I was super shy and the thought of talking to him scared me about to death.  But I did anyway.  And we hit it off right away!  He asked me out, got my number, and we became best friends.  Eventually after almost 2 years of dating we were married and sealed in the Salt Lake City temple.  It was the best day of my life.  We are so happy together and enjoy life!! I am SO glad I went to that show!!

Social Media Links
Instagram: @thecraftycarlson
Pinterest: @craftycarlson

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What did I tell you?  They are pretty awesome, right?  I hope you’ll take some time to hop on over and check out their blogs and social media.  I have no doubt you’ll find some fun ideas, tips and inspiration.
Have a lovely weekend!

Fab 5: Dawnene and Justine

Fab 5: Dawnene and Justine

Hello and happy Friday!  I’m super excited to introduce you to two lovely ladies as part of my Fab 5 series.  If you’re new to this series, it is basically a spotlight on the woman behind the blog.  Sometimes bloggers get lost behind the blog and I want you to get to know the person as well as check out their awesome blog!  The last Friday of each month will be dedicated to this series.

Today, you’ll be meeting Dawnene from Beans and Peanuts and Justine from Little Dove.  Like I mentioned, I’m really excited for you to meet these two amazing women so I’ll let them take it from here!

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Fab 5: Dawnene and Justine

Dawnene  |  Beans and Peanuts

Background:
I grew up in a town about 1 hour east of Vancouver, BC, Canada.  I moved away for 4 years while I attended University and then moved back to my hometown, where I reside now with my little family!  Both of my daughters were born in the same hospital as myself and my mom.  Kinda neat.  My husband, Tyler, and I met when we were 13 years old.  We started dating when we were 17 and haven’t looked back.  We’ve been together for 12 years and married for 6 years.  We have 2 daughters, Natalie (almost 4 years old) and Hailee (2 years old).  Tyler started his own company framing houses 3 years ago.  It’s a small crew, just himself and his cousin.  He works 6 days a week so that I can stay at home with the girls, so Sundays are a special day for our family.

Describe your blog:
I started blogging in June 2016.  I started my blog because I’ve always enjoyed writing and I wanted to have a project and do something for myself.  I try to blog about topics that will help moms and moms-to-be in some way by sharing my personal stories, thoughts, and tidbits of information that have worked for me as a mom.  Motherhood can be hard so I’m just really trying to make being a parent easier and let other moms know they’re not alone in their thoughts and feelings.

What are your favorite things to do with your free time?
As a stay at home mom I really don’t have too much free time, which is fine because I love doing things with my girls.  When they’re sleeping you’ll most likely find me working on my blog and social media channels.  I love to exercise and I try to take 30 minutes a day to do so.  I grew up doing ballet and just recently started doing an adult ballet class once a week.  It’s been so nice to get back into it.  I always leave class so happy!  I also always make time to watch Grey’s Anatomy, and Tyler and I also love Game of Thrones!

What is a typical day like for you?
This is a little hard because depending on what we have going on, every day is a little different.  On preschool days we need to be up and out of the house early, but other days we’re able to have relaxing mornings (which I really take advantage of because next year when Natalie starts kindergarten we will no longer have lazy weekday mornings!).  But everyday consists of: breakfast (usually in bed), getting ready for the day, some type of laundry, some type of errand (whether it be preschool in the morning or dance in the afternoon), lunch, nap time/quiet time, I always make time to play with my girls in the afternoon, have dinner, play a bit more, bath time, bed time, and then working on the blog!

What is your dream vacation?  
Good question.  At this point, any vacation would be a dream!  We’re really concentrating on saving money for a down payment to buy a house so a vacation isn’t really in our immediate future!  I really, really want to be able to take the girls to Disney.  And I absolutely love Maui so I really want to go back.  But my dream vacation would have to be going to Italy and eating all the pasta I want, which would never happen because I need to eat gluten free, hence the dream part!  I would also love to go to Greece.  It looks so beautiful and I would love to see it in person.

What is your favorite animal and why?
I’m a huge animal lover.  I wish I could snuggle every single one.  But my favorite always has and always will be cats.  I’m really not sure why.  I’m just drawn to them and they seem to be drawn to me.

Bonus question: If you could meet a celebrity, who would it be and why?  
This took me a while to think of.  I’m so out of the loop when it comes to celebrities.  I used to know them all, and now when I look at magazines in the grocery store line up and think “who the heck is that?!”  But after some thought, I realized that I would love to meet Taylor Swift.  My cousin and I went to her concert last August when she was in Vancouver, and she was absolutely amazing.  She has such an incredible message to send and she’s a great role model for young women.  As a mother of 2 girls I listened to her speak and wished that she could sit down with them and tell them everything she said at her concert.  She was amazing and I left that concert feeling like there’s hope for my girls in this world, that there are actually some positive people out there.

Social Media Links
Facebook: Beans and Peanuts 
Instagram: @beansandpeanuts
Pinterest: @beansandpeanuts
Twitter: @beansandpeanuts
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Fab 5: Dawnene and Justine

Justine  |  Little Dove

Background:
I grew up in southern California.  I lived in the same house in Huntington Beach for about 20 years.  I even had my wedding reception in our backyard.  After my husband and I got married we lived in UCLA student housing while he finished dental school and we had baby number one, then we lived in Texas for a couple years where he worked for a non-profit and we had baby number two (and I started my blog!), then we came back west and had babies number three and four in northern California.

Describe your blog: 
When I started my blog soon after having my son nearly six years ago, it was mainly a place where I could (in theory) sell some of the things I had started making for my little on.  Blankets, leg warmers, customized onesies, etc.  At the time I had no clue about the hustle that’s involved in blogging or running your own business and I wasn’t very successful.  But the blogging bug definitely bit me hard and I kept at it.  I have learned a lot over the years and the past few years it has grown and evolved into a DIY/lifestyle blog and I love the direction it’s taken!  Earlier this year I re-branded and I feel like that’s helped my blog and business growth a lot.

What are your favorite things to do with your free time? 
Honestly, I don’t have a lot of “free time”, lol.  I have four children age six and under that occupy a lot of my time.  Plus, I feel like as a blogger and small business owner there is always something you could be doing to improve and network, you know?  But I do love reading (when I have time), relaxing in front of the tv (especially to decompress at the end of the day), and I love baking, although that typically ends up on the blog so that’s sort of working… 😉  I also like to go jogging, scrapbook, and go out on dates with my hubby.

Tell us about your shop:
I create custom graphic tees and onesies mostly.  I try to be original with my work, and create pieces that people can really connect with.  When I see an order come through for one of my pieces it just makes my day because I feel like I have a kindred spirit out there that feels the same way about motherhood or diet soda as I do.  I also do a lot of custom orders and I always love helping my customer’s vision come to light.  As far as small businesses go, I’m pretty tiny, but I am really proud of how far my shop has come and I love it!

What is your favorite season/holiday? 
I love every season and every holiday, seriously.  I love any excuse to decorate or bake cute treats.  And I think that every season has something great about it.  I love taking my kids to the lake in the summer, I love the weather in the Fall and visiting the pumpkin patch, I love spending time with family at Thanksgiving, I love teaching my kids about the real meaning behind Easter and Christmas…  The only “holiday” I can’t stand is April Fools Day.  Ugh.

What is your favorite food?  
Asking me what my favorite food is, is like asking me who my favorite child is, it changes daily.  😉  Just kidding!  But seriously, there is so much food that I love I really don’t think I can narrow it down.  I love cheeseburgers and cupcakes.  Italian food and ice cream.  And above all else, Diet Coke.  Does that count as food?

Bonus question: How did you meet your husband?  
I met my husband on a blind date in August 2006.  I was “technically” dating someone else at the time…but that’s a long story.  We were set up by the mutual efforts of his brother, my cousin, and my mom.  I guess it took a lot of convincing to get him to ask me out, lol.  Our first date was pretty successful, despite the fact I started feeling sick at the end of it and we called it quits early to go home and play Scrabble.  Our relationship was pretty interesting though: we broke up in October, got back together in November, broke up in March, and then got back together and engaged in April.  We got married in Newport Beach in June 2007.  Again, that’s all a long story.  I guess basically he just had to realize how awesome I was and that he couldn’t live life without me. 😉

Social Media Links
Facebook: Little Dove 
Bloglovin: Little Dove Blog
Instagram: @littledove.justine
Pinterest: Justine Y @ Little Dove
Twitter: @LittleDove_blog
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As you can see, these are a couple of pretty amazing women!  I hope you’ll take the time to hop over and check out their blogs and other social media.

Next month, I’ll be interviewing two new bloggers for my Fab 5 series, so stay tuned.

Have a lovely weekend!

Fab 5: Erin and Susannah

Fab 5: Erin and Susannah

Hello and Happy Friday!  I’m excited to introduce you to two more lovely ladies as part of the Fab 5 Series I started last month.  If you didn’t see last month’s post, Fab 5 is all about getting to know the women behind the blog and seeing that amazing people they are.  The last Friday of each month will be dedicated to this series.

Being part of the blogging world, I have the opportunity to get to know some pretty incredible people.  The ladies you’ll meet today are two such and I’m so glad they agreed to be part of the series this month.

So without further adieu, I give you Erin from A Welder’s Wife and Susannah from Simple Moments Stick!

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Meet Erin from A Welder's Wife

Erin  |  A Welder’s Wife

Background:
I grew up in Southwestern Arkansas, and have lived there most of my life.  I currently live in a town about 30 minutes outside of the town I grew up in, with a population of 1000 people, roughly.  I have been married to my absolute best friend for nearly 6 years now!  We definitely balance each other out in many ways!  He is the “jump in head first” kind of man, while I am the “dip my toes in before the jump” kind of woman.  If you are around us for even a few minutes, you would think we have been married for 20 years!  (At least, that is what our friends say.)  We have two fur babies (Chevy and Harley), who we enjoy so much!  As well as a small farm with chicken, pigs and puppies!  We are busy bodies when it comes to working on the farm, being outdoors, and discovering new things.
In the past, I have blogged here and there.  When I finally discovered my niche, blogging became more consistent.  I have now blogged consistently for almost 10 months, and have enjoyed it so much!

1. Describe your blog
On my blog, you will find information about a Minimalist Lifestyle.  I believe that many things can improve in our life if we live simpler and realize our material possessions do not define us.  I share information based on personal experiences and research I have done.  When you visit my blog, you will find tips and tricks on how to live simpler, resources on my personal inspirations, among other things.
2. What are your favorite things to do with your free time?
Since my husband and I have started s small farm, I really enjoy watching and observing the animals.  (Chickens are hilarious to watch!)  Outside of the farm, I am your typical country girl.  I like to go fishing, hunting and four-wheeler riding.  I am also a fan of reading books from several genres, DIY projects, gardening and preserving foods, and so much more.  As to which I do in my free time, it all depends on what time of year it is.  If it is summer, I am usually working in the garden, canning or fishing.  If it is fall/winter, odds are I am hunting, on an adventure, or reading a book.  I try to enjoy life as much as possible, so my time is always filled with something challenging.
3. What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day for me is to work from 7am to 3:30pm.  From there, I will run any needed errands before heading home.  Once I am home, I spend some time in the garden or with our farm animals, and finish up with tidying my home and cooking supper.  I try to enjoy the last hour of my day with my husband, because quality time together is a necessity!  I love sharing our day with each other, especially if it was a good one!
4. Why do you blog?
I love to write.  A long time ago, I started a blog to have an online journal.  Today, I blog because I wanted to document my journey as a minimalist.  Along the way, I felt a wanting to help others change their life the way my life has changed.  As a result, I found my niche.  A year ago, my life was filled with so much stress, anxiety, and depression.  Today, it is the complete opposite, and it is all due to starting my minimalist journey.  I share my story and any advice I think may help, because I know I am not alone.
5. What is your favorite food?
If you were to ask my husband, he would say anything chicken, because that is all I have craved this summer, haha!  However, it is actually a tie between fried okra and the eggs my chickens are laying!  Both are so yummy that I could eat them every day!
Bonus question: How did you meet your husband?
Aww!  I love sharing our story!  A cheerleading friend of mine invited a guy she liked to one of our games.  He came with his little brother, who I was introduced to, but did not really pay any attention to.  (I was more so concerned with who this guy was that my friend liked.)  Anyways, later that night my friend asked me if she could give my number to the guy’s little brother.  I was reluctant, but I agreed (because he said I was beautiful, not cute or pretty).  We talked for several hours, and the conversation was heart throbbing good!  (At least for a 15 year old!)  As I said before, I did not pay much attention to him when we met, so I really did not know what he looked like.  I asked if we could meet again, because I wanted to confirm my feelings that conversation would be the same on the phone as in person.  (Being physically attracted to someone should not be the number one priority, but a priority nonetheless!)  The moment we laid eyes on each other, we fell in love!  It has been 12 years since we have met, and we are still going strong!
Social Media Links
Instagram: @awelderswife_erin
Twitter:@awelderswife007
Pinterest: @awelderswife007

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Meet Susannah from Simple Moments Stick
Susannah  |  Simple Moments Stick
Background:
For most of my younger childhood I actually lived overseas in Taiwan!  I loved living there!!!  After we moved back to America the majority of my teenage years were spent in Spokane,WA.  I now live in the Pacific Northwest–near Olympia, Washington.  I’ve been married for five years to my awesome husband, Nate.  He’s an associate pastor, awesome guitar player, and a major cutie! 😉  I have a son named Caleb who will be two in November and he’s crazy, awesome, and also cute.  I guess he takes after his dad. 😉 
I’ve been blogging for four and a half years but rebranded a few months ago and started taking it really seriously at that point.
1. Describe your blog
Just from the name, Simple Moments Stick, I hope it’s clear that my blog is all about reclaiming the beauty of a simple life!  Simplicity can, and should, permeate every area of life and I mostly focus on motherhood and marriage while keeping it all wrapped up in my grace centered Christian faith.
2. What are your favorite things to do with your free time?
What’s free time??? 😉  I love working on my blog and blogging related tasks so that takes up a lot of free time.  I also love getting together with friends, going on hikes with my husband, and taking my son on adventures.  I love to read and craft but, unfortunately, don’t do those things as much as I should!
3. What is a typical day like for you?
Most of the time I get up around seven and do a couple blog scheduling things before my husband heads off to work.  Once I’m on kiddo duty we have breakfast and then play, read, wrestle, and all sorts of things until nap time around 10.  At that point I work on my blog, call friends, watch TV or do whatever needs to be done until my little man wakes up.  After that (11:30ish) is lunch and then we try to head out the door.  Sometimes we’ll go grocery shopping, sometimes we’ll go to the park, sometimes we’ll meet up with friends… Caleb just needs to get out of the house so we do it!  We’re home in time for the afternoon nap that happens around 3.  While Caleb’s napping I get my stuff done again until he wakes up around 4ish.  Once he’s up he plays on his own and I prep dinner.  Nate is home a little after five and we have dinner, go for a walk, give Caleb a bath, and put him down around 8.  For the rest of the evening Nate and I hang out–we work on our computers, talk, watch TV, read, or a combination of everything and we try to be in bed around 10.  Not too much excitement but that’s how we like it.
4. Why do you blog?
I blog to encourage women.  I want to inspire women that it’s totally possible to live lives of simplicity without having to go the minimalism route (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) and to show them through my life the beauty that’s found in marriage, motherhood, faith, and so much more when we allow simplicity to be our goal.
5. What is your favorite thing about where you live?
I love how pretty it is in the Pacific Northwest!!!  Because it rains so much (which I don’t love) everything is always so green and lush!  I also love that we’re within 2ish hours of all sorts of terrains.  We can get to a big city, the ocean, mountains, or the desert in no time at all!
Bonus question: What is your favorite time of year (season or holiday)?
I know it’s cliche but Christmas is totally my favorite time of year!  I love how magical everything feels and that everyone cozies up with friends and family!
Social Media Links
Instagram: @susannahkellogg
Twitter: @susannahkellogg
Pinterest: @susannahkellogg

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As you can see, these are a couple of pretty amazing women!  I hope you’ll take the time to hop over and check out their blogs and other social media.

Next month, I’ll be interviewing two new bloggers for my Fab 5 series, so stay tuned.

Have a lovely weekend!

Fab 5: Terryn and Cara

Fab 5: Terryn and Cara

Hello and Happy Friday!  Today I want to introduce you to a new series I’ll be hosting each month to introduce you to new blogs and the amazing women behind them.  I’m calling it Fab 5.  Why? you ask. Simply because I ask 5 questions to each blogger.  (Obviously, this was a very scientific way of doing things. *wink*)
A couple of months ago, I joined some blogging groups on Facebook to help me get to know other bloggers.  As I was interacting with these groups, a couple of blogs stood out to me and I kept being drawn to their content.

So today I’d like to introduce you to our two Fab 5 ladies: Terryn, who blogs at Just a Simple Home and Cara, who blogs at Kindly Unspoken.  I’ll let them take it from here!

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Meet Terryn from Just A Simple Home

Terryn  |  Just A Simple Home

Background:
I was born and raised in Massachusetts, although I went to a private school in Rhode Island.  After college, I moved back to Rhode Island and have stayed here ever since.  My husband and I talk about moving south, but we have no definite plans to leave the Ocean State.  We have 6 children, ages 1 through 12 and we homeschool them.  I have been a stay at home mom since my oldest was born and now work from home as a blogger and a health and fitness coach.  My husband owns a fitness facility in town.  It’s a busy life, but we love it.

1. Describe your blog
Just A Simple Home was created out of my desire to make our home a haven: With little children, it can be hard to manage a home and create that space that you love.  There’s always a mess to clean up and piles to go through.  I found I needed to hold myself accountable and create systems that I could use to keep my house organized.  I like to create “simple” systems I can use to keep my house in order, while raising a large family.  I also love to help other bloggers start their own business.  I have a background in social media and really love the online community.

2. What are your favorite things to do with your free time?
Free time? Lol.  Well, I am a busy mom to 6 kids, so free time is a luxury.  Honestly, the thing I enjoy most is reading.  I read a lot and it is mostly for personal development.  I enjoy books that will help me grow as a person and as a leader, and books that will help me grow in my faith.

3. What is a typical day like for you?
I don’t really have a typical day–my days are always different.  I try to wake up before anyone else and have my quiet time.  I really need this in the morning to get collected for my day, since this is usually the only time I have to myself.  After that, I do my workout and shower.  Then, if everyone is still asleep, I will get my work done on the computer.  When the kids all get up, its breakfast and chores.  We try to start school around 9am and finish around 1pm, but that’s all depending on the day.  The afternoons could be spent outside, just playing and relaxing.  Ideally, the youngest ones will nap and we can get some reading done.  We all have afternoon chores to complete too, but afternoons are usually free.  Night varies, depending on kids activities and my husband’s schedule.  They do karate, dance and wrestling and our town puts on a lot of fun summer activities.  We again have chores to complete before bedtime readings, and baths.  After the kids go to bed, I work some more and spend time with my husband.  It sounds pretty boring written out, but it’s anything but boring!  Life is never predictable with our family and I love it!

4. Why do you blog?
I blog because I love it, truly.  I love the creative outlet it allows, and I love the blogging community.  I also love being able to help others build their blogs and have the confidence to go after their goals.  And I love being able to bring in an income for my family without sacrificing time with them.

5. What is your favorite food?
My favorite food has to be lobster…I do live in New England!  Although, I really love any fish–I could eat fish every day.  And coffee…

Bonus: Tell us about your online business.
I have been an online health and fitness coach for over 2 years now.  I help people with their nutrition and meal plans and usually match them up with the right fitness program.  We chat about goals a lot–short term and long term.  Many people are missing that accountability when it comes to their health and fitness.  That is where I come in as a coach.  I run free accountability groups on Facebook where I help my clients daily through their fitness program and their nutrition.  It is such a great community feel in these groups–full of women all trying to reach their goals and motivate each other the whole way.  I provide meal plans and recipes and the support that they need to make sure they finish and reach whatever goal they set.  If you would like to join my next group, please feel free to connect with me.

Social Media Links
Instagram: @healthy_mom_of_many
Twitter: @justasimplehome
Pinterest: @justsimplehome

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Meet Cara from Kindly Unspoken

Cara  |  Kindly Unspoken

Background:
Although I was born in North Carolina, I’ve lived in Southwest Virginia (the small town of Lebanon to be exact) for most of my life.  After my husband joined the Navy, we lived in Japan for a short while, and then Oklahoma City for 2 years, but ultimately we ended up coming back to Southwest Virginia where we both grew up and love.  I’m a Southern girl at heart and I love waking up and seeing the beautiful mountains each morning.

Family is my world and is definitely the main priority in my life.  I have a wonderful husband of 7 years and we have two of the sweetest boys in the world, ages 4 and 6, who are always making me smile and laugh.  We love spending our time together outdoors and having fun family nights in watching movies or baking up yummy treats.  In addition to blogging, I also work full-time in Communications/Marketing for the Workforce Development Industry, and my husband works full-time as a police officer for our local town.

1. Describe your blog
Kindly Unspoken is a beauty/lifestyle blog that frequently features posts on makeup/beauty products and how-to’s, cute and affordable fashion, delicious homemade recipes, DIY crafts and home decor, and words of encouragement.  It is my hope that my blog will help inspire others to be confident in their own skin, to take risks, and to always go after their dreams no matter what.

I have officially been blogging since November 2015.  Some days it feels like I’ve been blogging forever, while other days I wonder how 8 months have already flew by.  As most of you know, blogging is not for the faint of heart, and is a huge time commitment, but I love it and it’s a great community to be a part of.

2. How did you come up with your blog name?
When I first created my blog I wanted it to be a place where I could inspire others and promote spreading kindness.  So when I was brainstorming for titles, I kept coming back to the word Kindly.  One of my favorite songs back in high school was Kindly Unspoken by Kate Voegele, which is all about expressing yourself, so I thought it would be the perfect fit.

3. What is your favorite accessory?
Earrings are definitely my favorite accessory!  I love how they can really dress up an outfit and add that extra sparkle.  Even when I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt I still have to have on a pair of studs or small pearls.  I just don’t feel like myself if I’m not wearing some form of earrings.

4. Where did you meet your husband?
It’s super romantic, but we actually met and started dating at Pizza Hut when I was 16 (my first job in high school).  I was a waitress and he was a cook and almost immediately he started flirting with me.  At first, I gave him the cold shoulder, but I couldn’t help but begin to fall for him because he’s always had this amazing ability to keep me laughing.  10 years later we’re still going strong!

5. What is your dream vacation? 
 I would really love to have the experience of spending about a month in Ireland, exploring all the old castles and natural cliffs and beaches.  Both my husband and I have an Irish heritage, and I can’t help but feel wanderlust when I see photos of how beautiful it is over there.

Bonus: What is your current pet peeve?
On my job a huge pet peeve of mine is when people say they will do something and then never do.  Accountability is huge for me, and it says a lot about a person if they don’t have enough respect for the other person to follow through.

Social Media Links
Facebook: Kindly Unspoken
Instagram: @cara_kindlyunspoken
Pinterest: @kindlyunspoken
Bloglovin: Kindly Unspoken

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As you can see, these are a couple of pretty amazing women!  I hope you’ll take the time to hop over and check out their blogs and other social media.

Next month, I’ll be interviewing two new bloggers for my Fab 5 series, so stay tuned.

Have a lovely weekend!